The bears have been spotted eating their own dung because they are so hungry.
In a shocking video that surfaced recently several bears can be see actively begging for food from zoo visitors and are clearly being starved. Bears are notoriously large and fluffy, but these bears look weak, emaciated, and their ribs can often be seen.
The video was recorded by Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group, an animal welfare group based in Indonesia that advocates for the well-being of wildlife and animals in zoos around the country. Unfortunately, due to highly relaxed laws in Indonesia, the illegal wildlife trade runs rampant and horrible zoos continue to stay open despite disgusting cases of malnutrition and abuse.
The Bandung Zoo, where these bears are housed, is particularly awful and has even made headlines before following some questionable deaths that occurred at their facility. You may have heard of the giraffe that died in their care that was found with 40 pounds of trash in its stomach, or the elephant that cried while dying shackled to the ground. The sad part is that this isn’t even in the worst zoo in Indonesia, and something must be done to help these and all the other animals in the country.
Scorpion has recorded and released several videos as evidence of the bears’ malnutrition in the last year to no avail. Zoo officials and the Indonesian government are non-responsive when approached with this matter, and Scorpion has said,
“Despite asking the authorities to help these bears and other animals at the zoo, they don’t care and nothing is done. So we feed them fruit each time we visit.”
They aren’t the only ones feeding the bears, either. The bears get on their hind legs to beg for food and make eye contact with visitors to show their interest. The visitors often respond by throwing junk food into the enclosure that the bears gobble up. Not only is this a terrible diet for the bears, but it’s still insufficient for their daily meals.
Scorpion has apparently been consistently reporting the zoo for over a year, especially after they witnessed the following:
“Last year, Scorpion reported starving bears in Bandung Zoo. One of the bears ate his own dung. Scorpion was informed that this bear was under medical care, but the Scorpion was not allowed to see it … [This week] we found dirty enclosure[s] and bears here were looking hungry again.”
Since the group has received no help from government officials or the zoo itself in improving the living conditions of the bears and other animals at the zoo, Scorpion decided to reach out to the global community to implore them to help. The viral video was the first to be seen by many, and articles like this that explain the situation should be shared in order to maximize the outreach.
If you would like to help, you can sign the petition to urge the Indonesian government to shut down the zoo and relocate the animals, or you can donate to Scorpion to help them champion this cause and feed the bears in the meantime.
Watch the videos below to see for yourself how these bears are faring:
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This article (Starving Bears Beg Zoo Visitors For Food, Indonesian Gov’t Ignores Pleas For Help) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and True Activist.